Can't get these dang christmas lights to work! Ah Help?

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Old 11-10-13, 04:24 PM
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Question Can't get these dang christmas lights to work! Ah Help?

Well folks it close to that time of year we all dread ... putting up the christmas lights ... I have these mini lights that form a net that you put over your bushes ... one won't work at all ... I checked all the bulbs to make sure they are good on the one that doesn't work at all, and with great effort broke open the male plug to check the fuse but I didn't see one.:NO NO NO: The other net works about a quarter of the net. I have a straight string of mini light that don't work either ... I see no reason why the one where I checked all the bulbs doesn't work yet it doesn't

On the plug it states to use a 125V fuse, but so far I don't see one with these lights. Does anyone have any idea how to get these dang lights to work?
 
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Old 11-10-13, 05:01 PM
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The usual problem is not usually a dead bulb but a loose connection in the socket.

You can use an ohmmeter to trace thru the wiring to look for an open circuit.
 
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Old 11-10-13, 05:21 PM
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This invariably reminds me of those customers who come into the store every holiday season frustrated because they strung their Christmas lights in the wrong direction. Now the want a double ended male extension cord to connect the 120 volt house current. One particular customer went so far as to tell me they in fact bought one just several years ago and could not understand why I could not, would not help them. And no amount of explaining would convince her otherwise. She told me its what her dad would use to feed the generator into the house during a power outage.
 
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Old 11-10-13, 06:38 PM
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She told me its what her dad would use to feed the generator into the house during a power outage.
The scary part of that story is that she may have been right.
 
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Old 11-10-13, 08:14 PM
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Howdy ... thanks for posting ... I have a digital multimeter ... how can I use it to check for an open circuit?
 
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Old 11-10-13, 08:22 PM
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Set it to ohms. Touch the leads together so you will know how your meter indicates continuity. Now check for continuity.
 
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Old 11-10-13, 08:57 PM
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Okay so where do I place my probes on the light string to check for continuity ... and that mean I should get a zero reading correct?
 
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Old 11-11-13, 12:45 AM
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Most "holiday" light strings are so cheaply built that they are considered to be "throw-aways". If you can get more than a couple of seasons use out of them you have beat the odds. Buying replacements AFTER Christmas (for use next year) is the smart thing to do. These things drop 20% in price (minimum) the day after Christmas and often as much as 70% or even 80% before the end of the year.

Or, do as I do and simply not get caught up in the holiday lighting mania.
(Call me Scrooge, I don't mind. )
 
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Old 11-11-13, 09:18 AM
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There is a wonderful tool that I use extensively called the "Lightkeeper Pro. "I bought it maybe 5 years ago and I've used it to fix hundreds of light strings. I can go into a detailed explanation on how it works, but basically it sends a high voltage spike through the string to short the shunt on the dead bulb, as well as having a few other tools such as a bulb and fuse tester, etc.
Amazon.com: Lightkeeper Pro Miniature Light Repairing Tool - Fixes Christmas Holiday light sets with a squeeze of the trigger - Includes Battries, Extra Bolbs, Bulb remover and a BONUS 110-460 Volt Electric Circuit Tester: Electronics



Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with the above companies other than being a satisfied customer.
 
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Old 11-11-13, 04:37 PM
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Yes I see Home Depot carries it for $20 are you saying it works better than a multimeter?
 
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Old 11-12-13, 11:23 AM
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I can fix a light string in under 30 seconds with this.
 
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Old 11-12-13, 02:33 PM
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I've had one for several years. A few times I have had to search (loose bulb) but it usually quickly fixes the problem. Miles ahead of a multimeter in this application. Also available at most big box stores this time of year.
 
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Old 11-12-13, 09:10 PM
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Arrow Ok ... got me a light keeper pro

Well sir ... I went over to home depot and got a light keeper ... the net lights that had some lights working I was able to get going again with the light keeper ... the net lights that didn't work at all ... still can't get them to work.:helpme 2: Used the voltage checker ... got beeps in spots ... move down checked all the bulbs where the beep stops ... nothing :NO NO NO:... the bulbs all tested good. So that one set of light is still a problem ... so far I have been able to get the one net and three strings of lights working with the keeper ... but that one net is proving to be a tough cookie ... there is a help number so I will call them and see if they can help me out.
 
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Old 11-15-13, 05:10 AM
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There is a time with mini lights and their cousins, that after a few lamps fail, they all will fail due to the voltage increase of the others being dead. After that point, it's best to use the set for parts.
 
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Old 11-17-13, 11:18 AM
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Arrow All But One ....

Well sir ... I got all my lights going with the painful exception of the one net lights that never lit up at all. I removed all the bulbs from it ... tested each one ... replaced the bad ones ... I found 24 of them ... put all the bulbs back in and .... nothing. I did see that it does have fuses, but of course they tested good. The voltage detector isn't very good on the light keeper pro.:NO NO NO: I do get the beeping when I point it, but is there another way to check and see if this net is getting power?
 
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Old 11-17-13, 02:56 PM
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Or, do as I do and simply not get caught up in the holiday lighting mania.
(Call me Scrooge, I don't mind. )

I use Amish christmas lights... Never had an issue in 30 yrs... My dad used them too... They will save you tons of money ...





Oh wait... Here is a pic of them last Christmas on my home...






 
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Old 11-18-13, 03:03 PM
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Arrow Nice lights .... If you are Amish ... that is ... however I am not.

Well sir I do really like those blinky lights so if someone could tell me if I can use my multimeter to check and how to do it I would greatly appreciate it.
 
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Old 11-19-13, 10:07 AM
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Arrow Duh!!!

What a dummy I am ... all I had to do is stick my mulitmeter probes into the female socket on the net lights I'm getting a reading of a little over 118v ... so it is getting power which is even more puzzling. All the lights checked and replace yet it won't work:NO NO NO: ... anyone have any idea what is going on?

 
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Old 11-25-13, 07:15 PM
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A wire may have snapped off of the contact in one of the lamp sockets.

The (female) add-on connector has "home run" wires from the power plug so its being live does not mean that the lamp socket subcircuit is intact.

The thin wires at the base of the lamp have to be positioned just right to touch the contacts in the socket.
 
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